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LESSONS:

Guangxi Roads Development II Project

sector: Transport | country: China, People’s Republic of

The difficulties encountered in implementing the intercounty road were attributed to the low capacity of local counties in project implementation. The officers in the Baise Communications Bureau and Baise Highway Administration Bureau had no experience in implementing multilateral development bank-financed projects, particularly in procurement, disbursement, and project management. The lesson is that proactive efforts and timely actions should be undertaken to build the capacity of officers in local counties when they are responsible for local road components. These efforts could include (i) conducting pre-project implementation training for the relevant officers on ADB’s procurement guidelines, disbursement procedures, and safeguards policies; (ii) providing on-the-job training to the implementation team on procurement, disbursement, and contract management; and (iii) conducting frequent review of local roads implementation to identify potential problems at an early stage and then take timely action to resolve issues. In addition, frequent communication with project management offices is crucial to ensure that local roads construction is completed according to the plan and implementation schedule.

The other lesson learned from the project is that the award of contracts to low price bidders can result in contract management difficulties and implementation delays. To win a contract, the bidders, who are not familiar with Fe?de?ration internationale des inge?nieurs-conseils (FIDIC) contract and contract management in ADB-funded projects, offer low prices and take it for granted that the contract amount would be increased through contract variations during implementation. The low price bidders usually are not able to provide sufficient resources to implement the contract, thus resulting in slow progress in implementation. The incidence of offering low prices to bid for ADB-funded projects has decreased in recent years in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), since contractors have become more familiar with contract management practice of the World Bank and ADB. However, at the county level, the problem is still widespread among local contractors. For future local roads bidding, a mandatory site visit could be arranged for all potential bidders before bidding documents are issued and a brief introduction to FIDIC contracts for the bidders could be carried out at that time.

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